Looking for the best low vision treatment & tools to help you overcome daily struggles? This article has got you covered.
Although low vision can immensely impair a person’s quality of life, there are treatment options and tools that can help restore their visual function. Most are relatively affordable, widely accessible, and can make a world of difference.
Let’s explore all the ways you can combat visual impairment.
What conditions can cause poor vision?
Age-related eye diseases can cause severe issues with a person’s vision. In the worst-case scenario, a person can become completely or legally blind.
According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, the following eye conditions are the leading causes of low vision and blindness:
- Age-related macular degeneration (AMD)
- Diabetic retinopathy
- Certain brain injuries
The most common eye problems in the U.S. include:
- Distorted vision at all distances
Some people over 40 might lose the ability to focus up close and read letters on a mobile and computer screen.
These common problems can be corrected by wearing eyeglasses or contact lenses. However, some cases require surgery.
Low vision aid to combat visual impairment
Vision loss can significantly affect a person’s daily activities and, in turn, their quality of life. Luckily, several optical aids can make completing everyday tasks much easier despite low vision issues.
Optical magnifiers are handy reading aids for people with visual impairment Using an optical magnifier, these people can view photos and read texts with magnification. These optical devices make reading much more manageable, whether it’s for work or leisure.
The most basic choice boils down to handheld magnifiers and stand magnifiers. However, these devices come in different sizes and strengths. Choosing the right magnifier depends on how poor your eyesight is and what you’ll use the device for.
There are also CCTV video magnifiers that combine a camera and a TV screen as assistive technology for macular degeneration patients.
Due to numerous choices, it would be best to consult an eye care professional before purchasing.
Reading glasses and eyeglasses
Corrective eyewear is recommended for people who suffer from common eye problems. Besides basic eyeglasses that improve vision, some options can help slow down the progression of macular degeneration:
- Reading glasses with magnification
- Bioptic glasses with a telescope
- E-Scoop glasses with high-contrast
When choosing appropriate eyewear, it’s essential to contact an ophthalmologist and schedule an eye exam. As a part of this exam, the ophthalmologist will carry out a visual field test. This test can help detect rare retina conditions, such as retinitis pigmentosa.
Large print books
As the name suggests, large print books use a considerably larger font than most traditional publications. These books are frequently larger in size to accommodate the larger text. Large print books can be found in special libraries and some public libraries.
These books help people with low vision by allowing them to:
- Focus on the text better
- Read longer
- Understand more of what they’re reading
- Enjoy the reading process
Increasing contrast is one of the simplest and most effective modifications people with low vision can make to their homes. This affordable solution can significantly improve the quality of their daily life.
Here are some ideas for every home:
- Use solid colors as backgrounds
- Place lighter objects on darker backgrounds and vice-versa
- Use low vision devices with high contrast
Bioptic lenses are miniature binoculars used to improve vision. These lenses can be attached to regular eyeglasses and be used for one or both eyes.
Like regular binoculars, bioptic lenses enlarge images, helping users see more clearly. In addition, these lenses allow users to see objects that are much farther away. For this reason, they are excellent for people with low vision who want to continue driving.
Text to speech software
Text to speech (TTS) software programs convert digital text into audio files. TTS tools are available for nearly all devices, allowing people with low vision to continue reading on their smartphones, tablets, and computers with minimal effort.
Most TTS tools require a single press of a button to read aloud any text, including text messages, emails, and online content.
High-quality TTS readers offer natural-sounding voices that enable people with a visual impairment to read longer and focus better, regardless of the material.
Speechify is a powerful TTS reader that can help people with low vision turn any text into speech. This way, readers can enjoy their favorite books without straining their eyes.
Besides leisure, Speechify can greatly benefit students and working professionals with a visual impairment. Any class notes or project guidelines can be transformed into audio to help the user understand the material better and retain more information.
In addition, these files can be transferred to one of the Speechify apps, making them portable and readily available wherever you go.
What is a low vision therapy?
Low vision therapy helps patients learn how to use their remaining vision and assistive technology to accomplish everyday tasks.
What is a low vision specialist?
A low vision specialist is trained to help people with limited visual ability optimize their remaining vision. These specialists include:
- University-trained professionals with exceptional knowledge of optical devices and low vision
What is the difference between a low vision specialist and a regular eye doctor?
Low vision specialists specialize in examining and managing patients with a visual impairment. They typically treat individuals with visual acuity of 20/70. In contrast, eye doctors deal with less severe cases of vision loss.
What are the benefits of low vision therapy?
Low vision rehabilitation can teach patients new skills to improve their daily visual functioning. As a result, they can:
- Read better
- Stay mobile
- Use computers and other devices
- Continue with daily activities, such as cooking
- Stay safe in their home and surroundings
Pick Your Speechify Tribe
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